Skip to main content

SCOUT

Special Collections Online at UT

Madison County (Tenn.) Chancery Court Proceedings

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0686

This collection consists of a single volume documenting the case of Robert W. Chester vs. Robert W. Crockett and William Groom, which was heard before the Madison County Chancery Court in 1851. This case had to do with money that Crockett (who was co-executor of Terrill L. Camp's estate with William Groom) was supposedly illegally withholding from Chester without Groom's knowledge. The ledger includes transcriptions of Chester's original complaint, Crockett's answer, exhibits for both the plaintiff and the defense, and depositions from the various parties involved and several witnesses.

Dates

  • 1851 January 15

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

0.1 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection consists of a single volume documenting the case of Robert W. Chester vs. Robert W. Crockett and William Groom, which was heard before the Madison County Chancery Court on January 15, 1851. This case had to do with money that Crockett (who was co-executor of Terrill L. Camp's estate with William Groom) was supposedly illegally withholding from Chester without Groom's knowledge. The ledger includes transcriptions of Chester's original complaint, Crockett's answer, exhibits for both the plaintiff and the defense, and depositions from the various parties involved and several witnesses.

Biographical/Historical Note

According to Robert Chester's complaint, he and a man named Terrill L. Camp had entered into a partnership, the principal object of which ... was the trading of negro slaves by buying and selling the same for profits, which profits were to be equally divided, on December 5, 1846. Since Camp had no capital, it was agreed that he would be the active trader and Chester would provide the necessary funds. Chester duly advanced Camp several thousand dollars, with which Camp, a skillful and thrifty trader, produced a significant profit. Robert Crockett and others also invested in the firm, enabling them to further increase their gains.

On May 4, 1848 Terrill Camp died intestate in Madison County, Tennessee and Robert Crockett and William Groom took out letters of administration on Camp's estate. Chester charged that, at the time of his death, Camp had approximately $7,000 in gold and bank notes that Chester had advanced to him in addition to several slaves and funds obtained from other investors. Moreover, Chester asserted that further profit had been generated when Crockett and Groom sold partnership goods that had been included in Camp's estate. Instead of transferring these assets to Chester, however, Crockett retained them as payment for some pretended individual debt of his against said Camp in his life time without Groom's knowledge. Chester billed Crockett for the amount in question, and Crockett responded with a lawsuit demanding $1,550 from Chester to settle debts incurred by the partnership.

Chester further charged that Crockett himself was indebted to the firm: Camp had advanced him some money for a horse swap, which at his request ... said money so advanced was partnership funds + and at that time so known to be by said Crockett. Since Crockett was a single man with no permanent residence, Chester was concerned that he might flee the jurisdiction. Thus, Chester asked that Crockett be summoned and made to answer the complaint immediately.

In the end, both Chester's lawsuit against Crockett and Crockett's lawsuit against Chester were heard on the same day (January 15, 1851). The Clerk and Master of the court was ordered to examine the partnership's records to determine from whence its capital originated and whether it was making or losing money at the time of Camp's death. Should this accounting reveal a profit, half was to be given to Chester in accordance with the original partnership agreement. Furthermore, partnership debts are to have priority over individual debts in the distribution of partnership assets. Chester was not, however, completely vindicated: the court decided that Camp had indeed owed Crockett $2,750, which it believed Chester had been aware of and which remained unpaid. Thus, the Clerk was further ordered to calculate how much Crockett was owed, which was to be paid immediately. The remaining money was to be used to settle any accounts that might exist between Chester and Camp's executors.

Arrangement

Collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

William L. Cooksey III donated this ledger to the University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections in November of 1971.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480